Dig In

This may change in a few months, but right now, summer is my favorite season. It has earned this accolade by mastering the most important criteria of all: food.

produce at a farmer's marketThe August issue of Bon Appetit arrived sporting a picture of an heirloom tomato sandwich so drool-inducing that any sane person must have been tempted to eat the cover. When I made their tomato, raw corn, avocado salsa (with lime juice and, if you insist on ruining it, cilantro and serrano chilies), it looked just like the picture. I do not make food that looks like pictures. Martha Stewart crosses the street when she sees me coming. The food this time of year is just that beautiful.

In summer you can make things like buckwheat pancakes with fresh peaches and cardamom cream syrup, if you have cream, which I didn’t, so I can’t report on them. But just saying fresh peaches, cardamom, and cream in the same sentence lifts my heart (recipe from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark).

This evening I was slicing some squash for future use (don’t worry, I won’t let this one, ecstatic moment of advance preparation go to my head). The deep yellow of the squash was such a clear, visual sign of overflowing goodness that I had to eat one of the raw spears even though I was in the middle of my third chocolate chip cookie.

Last weekend I spent way too much money at the farmer’s market; way too much is the amount that buys more food than I can eat before it goes bad. But how do you choose among raspberries, peaches, Santa Rosa plums, Early Girl tomatoes, and fresh corn? That’s right, you don’t. Yum!

Plus I have these amazing friends who, unlike me, grow things. The sunshine-in-flesh-form squash mentioned above came from a coworker’s mini-farm. Another friend grows scarlet runner beans, which are green on the outside, pink on the inside, and more delicious than any other green bean ever. Yes, ever.

To top it off, while entertaining your tastebuds, you can also sit outside and be warm (except maybe in certain parts of northern California). So rejoice! Summer is celebrating and we’re invited.

9 thoughts on “Dig In

  1. I’m right there with you, Rachel. I love summer fruits and vegetables more than ever before! I finally signed up with SLOVeg, a local CSA who teams with SLOCatch to provide fresh fish right off the boat. It’s all delivered to my front door, and it’s there when I get home from work. I’m eating better, it saves me time and money, it’s sooooo easy, I feel healthier and more connected to our fabulous local farmers, and I’m trying veggies I wouldn’t normally buy. I appreciate the smell and taste everything so much more, since the produce is left on the vine as long as possible and has so much more flavor than the stuff in the stores. The floral smell of last week’s honeydew melon nearly knocked me to the floor.

    And, channeling whatever I could from my Grandma, I made my first-ever batch of bread and butter pickles last weekend. Squeee! I still haven’t tried them. Bring on the barbecue and watermelon!

  2. Rachel my dear, 🙂

    I really enjoy reading your blog posts each week. I find them refreshing. They usually strike a cord of agreement with me to the point of asking myself: Did Rachael get into my head again? Has she been spying on my thoughts?….. That was where I was going with the “heirloom tomato sandwich” comment. But I came to a screeching halt with the “if you insist on ruining it, cilantro and serrano chilies” comment. Now I am not sure what song the “Salsa” recipe was intended to sing, but cilantro and serrano chilies are like music to the Californian palate. They are as Californian as are ……Disneyland, …..the Golden Gate Bridge, and…… Morro Rock. They are flavors that are meant to be savored and enjoyed. To say one does not like cilantro and/or serrano chilies, is like saying you’re from Arroyo Grände, (note the diacritic to emphasize pronunciation). It’s just not right. It’s not……being …… Californian…….Just Sayin’

    • LOL! Those Colorado roots have to show through somehow. It’s not my fault most of the state has genetically mutated tastebuds that allow them to enjoy those two troublesome foods.

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